As the race started there were several moves off the front. Pete tested the field a couple of times early on with a few surges but it was some of the lower ranked riders that had a good go off the front to try there chances on a stage win.
After about 10km of this 70km stage it was clear it was a 5 on 1 race. Pete and Craig were initially taking turns at attacking off the front to make me chase them which was busting me. 25km into the race and I was still managing to hold onto these guys. That's when different strategies were employed. The one that really got me, involved a rider coming past me and getting in my way so that Pete could attack past both of us. I would then need to brake to avoid the rider and then try and accelerate to get on Pete's wheel. In the end, I couldn't match this type of racing and Pete and Andy got up the road. Craig sprinted across and the 3 of them swapping off turns and working together should have managed to stay away. I'm not sure how it happened, but I managed to catch back up and the fun and games started again! With about 5km to go a group of around 10 riders were together and I snuck 3rd into the single track behind Andy and Pete. All I had to do was stay close to Pete and ahead of Craig. In the end I was around 10 seconds behind Pete and ahead of Craig keeping me in 2nd place. I would have to say this was the nastiest and toughest stage/race that I have ever done!